Reader Jennifer wanted a new stove so she could cook delicious vittles for noshing during the SuperBowl. Sadly, she bought her stove from Best Buy, so instead of having a new stove for her party, she had a new stove delivered during the SuperBowl while she had a house full of guests. She launched an EECB (Executive Email Carpet Bomb) on them and CC’d us so we could listen in.
Here’s her letter:
Dear Best Buy,
I bought a stove on-line on January 3, 2008 (order number[redacted]). I paid for delivery ($60.00) and set a delivery date of January 28, 2008 in the hope that I would be able to use my new stove for the Sunday Brunch/Super Bowl party that I was planning to throw on February 3, 2008. When I ordered there was no mention that there would be a separate installation charge ($100), nor did the website describe the procedure for how to get the stove installed–it only asked me about delivery. For someone like me who has never purchased a stove before it was unclear that delivery and installation were two different things. When I purchased my new refrigerator from Sears last year, for example, they delivered it, installed it, and took away the old one, free of charge! It did not occur to me that this would not be the case with my new stove.
On Sunday, January 27, 2008 a local Best Buy clerk called to confirm the delivery time for the next day and informed me then (in response to my asking) that the stove would not be installed when it was delivered and that I had not requested installation. When I asked about how I could get the stove installed when it was delivered, the store clerk was completely unhelpful and blamed me for buying it on-line. I called the Best Buy helpline repeatedly that Sunday afternoon to determine what I needed to do to get the stove delivered, installed, and the old stove removed. Often put on hold I was entertained by the friendly Best Buy spokesman who informed me that buying appliances online with Best Buy was so easy and installation was a breeze! I’m sure that you can imagine that these reassurances did not help my frustration. In fact, no one was able to help me on that day, despite my many calls and what seemed to be their best efforts.
Repeated phone calls to the Best Buy helpline the next day yielded a promised installation date of Monday, February 04, 2008–a week after it was supposed to be delivered and too late for my planned party. I figured that this was the best that I could do under the circumstances. I waited all day for delivery on Monday, January 28, but no one came. I did, however, receive an email from Best Buy informing me that my stove had been delivered on that day. I wrote back to say, “hey, no it had not” and I received an email in response that said that they would look into it and that they had assigned my case to a specialist–ohh a specialist! I have not heard from said specialist, so I fear that your specialists are not so special.
I made many more calls to the Best Buy helpline, local store, and the distribution center. I was told that they would now deliver on Friday, February 1. I waited all day, but they did not come. I called and was told that the local store would contact the delivery guys and call me back as soon as they learned something. I received no phone call. Many, many more phone calls between me, Best Buy helpline, local Best Buy store, Distribution Center, Delivery guys, and Installation guys ensued. I had now wasted two whole days waiting for my stove to be delivered without getting a stove.
Finally, my stove was delivered yesterday (on Super Bowl Sunday while I had a house full of guests). Today the stove was installed (only a half hour late!) and seems to be working fine. I suppose that I should be grateful that I have my new stove, but I have to admit that I’m still quite frustrated. On a positive note, I liked that the many times when I called your helpline there was an actual human being to direct my call–well done, Best Buy! Additionally, the many Best Buy helpline folks I spoke to were friendly, but unfortunately there was little that they could do to actually get my stove to my house or get it installed. The local people I spoke to were rude and frustrating, for the most part.
Here are my questions for you now: Why doesn’t your website tell consumers that delivery and installation are not the same? Why not give them the information about how to arrange to get their new stoves installed? Why did I have to make phone calls to five different levels of the company to get my stove to my house and installed? Why has no one offered to refund my delivery charge?
Obviously, I am not pleased. Recounting my tale of woe to everyone I know has frequently yielded the same question: “Why didn’t you order your stove from Sears?” Gee, I think, that sounds so sensible. Why didn’t I buy my new stove from Sears? I am going to need to purchase a new dishwasher in the next year, I’m sure that Sears is the sensible choice for all of my future appliance purchases.
We hope that Sears idea is just an empty threat. Let’s toss this one out to the readers: Where should Jennifer make her appliance purchases in the future?
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)